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Rough week for planet Earth. Good week for music though.
Along with those tunes, we had special, awesome phone calls from both Ben Sollee and Michael Roffman. One plays music, one tells you about good music. Party on, Garth.
Frightened Rabbit – Nothing Like You
I’ve been known to enjoy a few from Snow Patrol’s catalog, but the last bits haven’t had that spark n’ zest that first brought me in. If you subscribe to that club, too, them behold! Frightened Rabbit takes a familiar sound and throws some fire back into it. It drives, pushes, and rarely looks back, all the while keeping a shine that’ll appeal to the masses. Come to think of it, it’d be a really nice paring to see them live on an Echo & The Bunymen bill.
Fyfe Dangerfield – When You Walk In The Room
If the fifteen year-old version of me knew that the now version of me liked this song, he would probably be upset. But unlike the days of my late-grunge youth, I can play a track like this and bop around the room like its freedom. By the wayside have gone the flannel, and I’ve excepted the greatness of a good pop song. Dangerfield (if that is your real name) may be simplistic in his writing, but a topic as well worn as this didn’t need the over thinking, thanks to a melody and piano line that promises to drill itself into your head, regardless of the subject matter.
White Hinterland – Icarus
I’ve been struggling with The xx and jj, being able to grasp and jump right in, so I’m grateful for White Hinterland, who also approaches with a laid back, near trip-hop vibe while keeping an accessible, focused (and humable) chorus. Like the frog in pot, I just needed to be warmed before boiled.
Red Pens – Hung Out
The same could be said about Red Pens. Lo-fi has been striving in it’s own right off and on since the beginning of rock, and the last few years have definitely taken it to new levels and attention, but for a genre where you have to get it to get it, it’s nice to have something like this that takes less work to enjoy.
Basia Bulat – Go On
It’s hard to read up on Basia without running across the name of Neko Case, and that’s justifiable. She’s got a voice of tenderness that’s tinged in country and mid 90’s chick-rock at the same time. She’s good looking and spends most of her time on the road. So, yeah, it’s pretty parallel. That’s not her fault of course, and shouldn’t scare you away from inviting her in. It’s easy Americana that works.
Ben Sollee & Daniel Martin Moore – Something, Somewhere, Sometime
I’ll say outright that I’m pretty biased when it comes to Ben’s music. Though he is a friend, it’s still pretty undeniable how good his music is, as it’s grabbed tens of thousands of people across the country. This time around, he’s teamed up with Daniel Martin Moore (another Kentucky kid) and enlisted Jim James (another Kentucky kid) to produce, and occasionally contribute. The results are the perfect blend of Appalachian folk-soul-pop with a message (which at it’s base it about mountaintop removal / coal mining). They’ll be touring quite a bit this year, and I couldn’t recommend it more.
The Kays Lavelle – Aftermath
Along with Frightened Rabbits, The Kays Lavelle are our 2nd troop fro Scotland on this week and much like them, there is a polished quality, but accomplished quite differently. This slow brooder takes a while to carry you to it’s destination, but it’s only for the suspense and build. It reminds me somewhat of Swell Season’s “High Horses” in the way it arrives and makes for some nice, cinematic listening.
Portastatic – Foam Hands
Here’s a fun one. The head of Merge Records decided to dig up his Portastatic name and pay tribute to a handful of his artists by covering their songs. If you have a problem with his vocals at the beginning, just wait for the kids choir to come in and the whole thing syncs up. If you’re not familiar with the original, it’s by the band Destroyer. It’s also highly possible you’ll catch yourself repeating the refrain for the rest of the day.
Dirty Projectors – Emblem of the World
The Brooklyn buzz crew delivered a new seven inch to the world that had a couple new songs and a couple Bit Orca era tracks. This one is pretty forgettable (probably why it was passed over for a full length), but carry’s some saving grace in it’s jazz-like experimentation.
The Besnard Lakes – Albatross
I didn’t get it from the first listen, but through some loud speakers on the 2nd go round I understood why they caught so many rave reviews from their ’07 debut. I keep going back to calling them a female Grizzly Bear, which doesn’t feel fair but really does explain the sound. Traces of Beach Boys over shoe-gaze guitars and rolling drum licks.
Michael Roffman – Phone Call / Vampire Weekend – Run
Our guest blog-call comes from Michael Roffman, who helps head and contribute to Consequence of Sound, a site that built it’s foundation on festival reporting, but has gradually turned into a pretty great site for up-to-the-minute music news, introductions to new artists, and still the first place you want to go to find out who’s playing where this summer. Michael chose the song Run from Vampire Weekend’s newest, Contra, for his pick this week and tells you why (but you’ll have to hit the play button to hear the whole review).
Xiu Xiu – Gray Death
The world of Xiu Xiu is a very overdramatic one and I assume to appeals pretty instantly to a 15 year old who’s recently read The Bell Jar. Traces of The Smiths with a strong Goth overtone veers into an industrial transition. And while I could cut on this song for a handful of reasons, they’d all be baseless. Ultimately, it’s a fine song with a great refrain.
Aloha – Moonless March
I like it while I’m listening to it, but haven’t really thought about it when I’m not. That’s to say that there really isn’t much sticking power. Other than that, sure. And with that said, I’ll probably love it in a week.
The Morning Benders – Promises
This Berkley band have toured with just about every cool band you’d want to tour with right now and it’s paid off for them judging by the press on the upcoming Big Echo. There is a beach sound for a late July night hidden somewhere in the background and his voice even contains elements of The Walkmen. I’d throw out a three out of five wit intentions to check out the rest.
The Weekly Feed is distributed by WFPK and Louisville Public Media. The executive producer is Stacy Owen, with additional help from WFPK’s Laura Shine. Produced and hosted by Kyle Meredith. Make sure to say hi, yeah?
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